bride and groom kissing framed with flowers by moonraker hotel wedding photographer, rich howman

Moonraker Hotel Wedding Photographer

I couldn’t get much closer to my front door than when I’m working as a Moonraker Hotel wedding photographer! With a garden full of pretty flowers and a nearby meadow, it’s a great venue for a summer wedding in Wiltshire. The Grade II listed Moonraker Hotel Manor House has lots of beautiful historic features and offers plenty of flexibility, with a marquee ready to decorate you can make it totally unique for your wedding breakfast.

Alice and Christian’s wedding at the Moonraker Hotel

Shortly after buying their first house together in Wiltshire, I met Alice and Christian at a wedding show, (what feels like AGES ago), and they invited me to join them as their Moonraker Hotel wedding photographer. They loved my display of award winning wedding photographs, and were keen for me to capture some creative portraits and fun shots on their big day.

Alice and Christian got engaged in Marrakech back in July 2018, so they wanted a bright and summery theme for their wedding at the Moonraker Hotel, with vibrant pops of pink and orange, and some hints of gold to bring everything together. After postponing a mammoth 4 times over the course of the pandemic (my Amazing PA Rhian’s excellent calendar juggling skills were absolutely vital!), they finally got married this summer!

Guest of honour was their furry baby Bella, who of course gave me lots of hugs and licks throughout the day – I love dogs at weddings!

Getting ready

I started the day with Alice, her mum and her bridesmaids who were all dressed in matching robes having their hair and make-up done by the fab team from Adam Lee Hair and Beauty. They really joined in with the party and helped babysit and dogsit when they weren’t busy with glam squad duties, which helped to make everyone feel super comfortable and relaxed, so there was lots of laughter and fun to capture in the photos.

Meanwhile, my second photographer Phil Loadwick was at home with Christian and the boys as they prepared for the day, Christian looked super smart in his “Felix” suit from Skopes. The boys all wore matching ties and pocket squares tying in with the bright Moroccan colour palette and matching Alice’s bridesmaids, her two sisters Emily and Megan and her friend Francesca in hot pink ‘Haven’ bridesmaids dresses from Wed2b.

Christian had organised a box full of gifts for Alice to open in the morning, including framed maps of where they met, where he proposed and where they were about to finally get married! Alice’s dress and rose gold belt were from the Bride at Home Boutique in Bristol, and she added more sparkle with some rose gold heels – she looked stunning! Before heading off to the ceremony, we organised for Alice’s dad to have a first look at his daughter in her wedding dress, which was an emotional moment for us all!

Getting married at the Moonraker Hotel

Alice walked up the aisle on her dad’s arm to an emotional Christian, and they were surrounded by smiling faces as they said their vows. It had been a long wait for this couple to get to their big day – and everyone was really excited to finally get to be there and enjoy their day with them. Styling and Décor had been planned by Wild Jasmine Events, who did a brilliant job of setting up the marquee and outdoor areas for the day. A big part of my work as a Moonraker Hotel wedding photographer is capturing the emotion of your wedding, surrounded by the little details and décor that have so much love and thought put into them.

Alice and Christian’s flowers had lots of meaning to the couple, and Absolutely Fabulous Flowers helped create beautiful arrangements of Alice’s favourite flower, Gerberas and added yellow roses in memory of Alice’s late Grandma and Grandad, who are hugely missed by their whole family. It’s those special little touches that mean so much and helped Alice feel they were still part of her wedding day.

Moonraker Hotel wedding reception

After the ceremony everyone enjoyed canapes and drinks outside, and we captured some group portraits in front of the manor house.

Then, I gathered the bridal party and we went on a little mission to the meadow! We had lots of fun running about in the meadow and having piggyback races which got SUPER competitive and hilarious, with groomsmen collapsed on the floor laughing “Big game, big players! Winners win!”

Before re-joining their guests for their wedding breakfast, and after a quick spruce up, I captured some portraits of Alice and Christian in the soft light streaming through the Georgian sash windows of the main building. I like to use details of the venue in Moonraker Hotel wedding photography, and the windows are just irresistible – all photographers love light!

Moonraker Hotel wedding photography

The balmy sunshine meant everyone enjoyed garden games after the wedding breakfast and got a chance to really relax and celebrate with the couple at their Moonraker Hotel wedding. Playing with bubbles was also a big hit (and not just with the kids!). Everyone had a drink in their hand and a smile on their face all day – especially Alice… the Prosecco Queen!

The whole crew were enjoying the day and were up for some more exciting creative shots, particularly Alice who wanted to be thrown in the air (although pretty much everyone wanted to try that too!). I have to say, the altitude some of the groomsmen got to was pretty impressive! I swear to you, these shots aren’t photoshopped!! Unofficial record breakers I think!

As the sun was quite hot, we’d decided to move Alice and Christian’s main couple shoot to later in the day, when it had cooled down a little and the light was kinder. We wandered through the ornamental gardens and made use of the colour from the flowers, then had a little snuggle in the tall grass of the meadow.

Outdoor cake cutting

Having photographed over 900 weddings, I have a bit of an eye for small changes that can make a big difference on the day, and when I saw Alice and Christian’s cake, I couldn’t help but think it would be so much nicer for them to cut their cake outdoors. Rather than being stuck in a corner of a room, they could be outside in the summer air, so all their guests could see them, with the bonus of having more beautiful light for photography to capture the moment! So, I had their cake moved outside (carefully!) – and it was SO worth it!

Speaking of cake… their cake had been created by Tracey, a very talented family friend who’d used the pink and orange Moroccan vibes of the colour scheme, and matched the design to the wedding invites by adding intricate gold details, not only did it look amazing, I’m reliably informed it was also delicious!

Evening food, fun and a packed dancefloor

The evening was powered by the awesome tunes from Kieran Clarke Events, who always have the dance floor rocking! Alice and Christian had been a bit worried about their first dance, as they aren’t really big fans of being the centre of attention, so they chose ‘A Sky Full of Stars’ as their first dance, and asked DJ Shea to invite everyone to the floor as the tempo picked up. From that moment on the dancefloor was packed!

If you’re after evening food for a relaxed wedding, then look no further than Soul Fries! Alice and Christian’s guests (and their photographers!) are still raving about the amazing loaded fries they served – perfect to fuel everyone for an evening of partying hard at their Moonraker Hotel wedding!

Alice and Christian

Before we left them to party the night away, we escaped to capture some beautiful portraits and silhouettes at sunset, with a little magic from off-camera flash. The dramatic skies and cool breeze were the perfect way to end the day. Congratulations Alice and Christian, you finally did it, and it was EPIC!

See you soon?

Are you looking for a Moonraker Hotel wedding photographer? I’m just around the corner from the venue and I’d love to join you and capture your day. I work at venues across the UK (and the world!), including some others nearby – check out some highlights from this Folly Farm Centre wedding, or perhaps Coombe Lodge or Temple of Minerva wedding photography will give you some inspiration?

Wherever you are getting married, I can’t get enough of weddings (I’m not just there for the cake… honest!). Get in touch and my Amazing PA will get back to you as soon as possible, so we can start planning!

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